Tales of a British expat, transplanted into the lushness of the Tennessee countryside.
Come along inside ~ We'll see if tea and buns will make the world a better place ~ Wind in the Willows
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
As we start the New Year one of the first traditions that 'Southerners' partake in, is the eating of black-eyed peas. According to Southern folklore, these flavorful legumes are to be eaten on New Year's Day for luck and prosperity throughout the year ahead.
The practice of eating black-eyed peas for luck is generally believed to date back to the Civil War. At first planted as food for livestock, and later a food staple for slaves in the South, the fields of black-eyed peas were ignored as Sherman's troops destroyed or stole other crops, thereby giving the humble, but nourishing, black-eyed pea an important role as a major food source for surviving Confederates.
Today, the tradition of eating black-eyed peas for the New Year has evolved into a number of variations and embellishments of the luck and prosperity theme including:
Served with greens (collards, mustard or turnip greens, which varies regionally), the peas represent coins and the greens represent paper money. In some areas cabbage is used in place of the greens.
Cornbread, often served with black-eyed peas and greens, represents gold.
For the best chance of luck every day in the year ahead, one must eat at least 365 black-eyed peas on New Year's Day.
In some areas, actual values are assigned with the black-eyed peas representing pennies or up to a dollar each and the greens representing anywhere from one to a thousand dollars.
Others say that since the south has generally always been the place for farming, black-eyed peas are just a good thing to celebrate with in the winter. Not many crops grow this time of the year, but black-eyed peas hold up well, were cheap and just make sense.
Some people believe you should cook them with a new dime or penny, or add it to the pot before serving.
Last year, I didn't eat any black-eyed peas on New Year's Day, it wasn't a good year, I'm making sure this New Year's Day I consume my 365 peas !
To do the useful thing, to say the courageous thing, to contemplate the beautiful thing: that is enough for one man's life.
~ T.S. Eliot
"If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there"
Contentment is not the fulfillment of what we want,
but the realization of how much we already have.
Where we love is home - home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.
~Oliver Wendell Holmes
A London Telegraph featured blog
everyone else is taken."
~ Oscar Wilde
A British Weekly Featured Blog.
"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters
compared to what lies within us."
' There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much dimished by a cup of tea.'
Now winter nights enlarge
This number of their hours;
And clouds their storms discharge
Upon the airy towers.
Let now the chimneys blaze
And cups o'erflow with wine,
Let well-tuned words amaze
With harmony divine...
"Tell you what I like the best --
'Long about knee-deep in June,
'Bout the time strawberries melts
On the vine, -- some afternoon
Like to jes' git out and rest,
And not work at nothin' else!"
~ James Witcomb Riley : Knee Deep in June
“Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.”
~ John Wesley
Question not, but live and Labour Till yon goal be won, Helping every feeble neighbour, Seeking help from none; Life is mostly froth and bubble, Two things stand like stone, Kindness in another's trouble, Courage in your own.
"What a ripping little house this is !
Everything so handy ! "
~ Wind in the Willows.
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The Shed..."In the potting shed, our hearts, the pleasures of home, and the glories of the garden merge. Its practical character eases our garden labors. Its romantic nature enriches our lives. Here is peace, and beauty, and a sense of purpose."
~Linda Joan Smith :The Potting Shed
Stories don't always end where
their authors intended.
But there is joy in following them,
wherever they take us.
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If I should die, think only this of me: That there's some corner of a foreign field That is for ever England.
~ Rupert Brooke
Scones and Clotted Cream
Homesteading in Winter
"There is nothing in the world, More beautiful than the forest Clothed to its very hollows in snow. It is the still ecstasy of nature, Wherein every spray, Every blade of grass, Every spire of reed, Every intricacy of twig, is clad with radiance." - William Sharp
Our England is a garden, and such gardens are not made
By singing: -- "Oh, how beautiful!" and sitting in the shade.
I'm Late, I'm Late for a very important date,
No time to say hello, goodbye, I'm late, I'm late, I'm late ...
"We're all mad here"
~ The Cheshire Cat
from Alice in Wonderland
I rule. No really, I do.
I like pigs
Dogs look up to us Cats look down on us Pigs treat us as equals.....
A British expat transplanted into the lush Tennessee countryside.
Wife, mother, grandma.
The other character in this plot, being Oliver the cat, gingerness and aloof.
I'm a lover of old. Time-worn, antiques, quilts, primitives, heirloom pieces, potting sheds, English literature, poetry, Battenburg lace, blue willow, cottages, white ironstone dishes, English transferware, worn-out picket fences, teapots, old bird houses, moss-covered clay pots, gardening, all creatures great and small.
"And they loaded up their trucks and they moved to Tennessee....hills there are, swimming holes, country stars".